Should I Hire a Makeup Artist For My Headshot or Portrait Session?

First let’s think about all the places you might use a headshot. Could be for a personal website, a company you work for, social media, marketing purposes, and article about you. The list goes on. Maybe you’re an actor, or a business professional. Ether way your headshot is a marketing tool, and a powerful one at that. It’s an investment, and admittedly can be a pricey one too. So, why spend extra on a makeup artist as well? Well, here’s a few reasons why you may want to, and some benefits to doing so.

Experience with makeup for the camera:

To me this is probably the main and most important reason. Makeup artists are experienced and knowledgable about what looks best for the camera. Camera’s pick up everything, and I mean everything! Blemishes, chapped lips, bags under the eyes, oily skin, that unwanted pimple that just popped up the day before your photoshoot; all kinds of things. A makeup artists will not only help hide those things from the camera, but they also know what products to use and how to apply makeup in a way that translates well to the camera, yet still looks natural.

Will help you feel less stressed, and more confident:

It’s true that many of the things like blemishes can be improved upon in post processing, but the confidence associated with looking good and feeling good during the shoot itself will translate to better photos. If you’re stressing about how you’re looking on camera during the photoshoot, or how your makeup is looking, it’s going to be hard to get the best photos possible. It can become a major distraction. People can become very self conscious when they’re having their photos taken. If you’re too worried about how you look, it affects confidence and in turn, the photos produced. A Makeup artist who knows what they’re doing eliminates that stress and you can focus solely on posing, having fun and projecting your best self to the camera. Simply put, It’s one less thing for you to worry about. On top of that, since they will be present during the entire shoot, they are there to fix issues with the makeup as we go, or make adjustments as needed.

They will have high quality professional products:

Not all makeup is made equal, and not all products look good under studio lighting. So, while you may be perfectly able to do your own makeup and look great day to day, it may not look as good on camera. That is something you definitely don’t want. You want to look your best right? Especially if that headshot or portrait is going to be blown up to a large size. For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent and your headshot will be blown up to a large billboard size and posted around town. I imagine you’d want to be looking your best in that image. A makeup artist will help to ensure that. They have the knowledge about what to use, what’s appropriate and will look good on you for the camera.

More range in looks:

Finally, with a makeup artist there is the possibility of achieving more range in looks and therefore more variety in the photos you’ll receive. As mentioned before, since they are there for the duration of the shoot makeup can be adjusted and changed as well as your hair. This means you will get more variety and depending on what you’re looking to get out of your particular photo session, something that may be desirable to you. If you’re an actor for example, you likely will want to have a range of looks in your headshots to showcase your range in characters and talent.

To Conclude:

While you can absolutely do a headshot session without hiring a makeup artist, I highly recommend it for the reasons listed above. While I certainly don’t feel it’s a necessity, I do think it will put the quality of your photos up a level. Now, If you wear makeup normally, i also highly suggest hiring a makeup artist, simply for the fact that they know what will look best for the camera. If you come in and your makeup doesn’t work well under the studio lights, nothing can be done about it at that point. If you come in and have a makeup artist available, they can apply as little or as much product as needed, and you’ll have the confidence in knowing that it’s meant for the camera and in studio use. In the end it’s all about feeling confident in front of the camera and looking and feeling your best will only help in that. In turn better photos can be produced since you will feel more relaxed and confident knowing you look good.